notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

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notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

Item 37

Operations and Land Management Committee

October 30, 2012

Submit & File Report

Land Management Team Review Evaluations – Chassahowitzka Riverine Swamp, Jack

Creek, Starkey Wilderness Preserve and Conner Preserve.

Purpose

Provide the Governing Board with the results of four Land Management Evaluations conducted

on District owned and managed lands in accordance with Section 373.591, Florida Statutes

(F.S.).

Background and History

Section 373.591, F.S., describes the process the District is required to follow to perform

evaluations of management plans and management activities conducted on District-owned

lands to ensure that lands are being managed consistent with purposes of acquisition and site

specific land use and management plans. The District is required to organize review teams that

consist of state and local governments, conservation organizations, and private landowners for

each evaluation. Each team member reviews the site specific land use and management plan

and participates in a site visit that is designed to show the team management accomplishments

achieved on each property. For each evaluation, District staff develops individual property

summaries for each team that contain current details about water resource and natural systems

maintenance and restoration activities, public recreation and management partnerships. Each

team member completes evaluation forms with criteria consistent with Section 259.036, F.S.,

that requires a one to five rating scale with one being poor and five being excellent.

The District conducted four evaluations of District-owned lands between 2011 and 2012. The

properties include Chassahowitzka Riverine Swamp, Jack Creek, Starkey Wilderness Preserve

and Conner Preserve. The following is a brief summary of the evaluation results:

Chassahowitzka Riverine Swamp - Overall Average Rating was a 4.4

In general the team agreed that the property is being managed consistent with the adopted

management plan and purposes for acquisition. The team encouraged District staff to continue

the strong coordination between the District, Citrus County manager of the Chassahowitzka

Campground and private adjacent landowners.

Jack Creek - Overall Average Rating was a 3.0

The team agreed that the property is being managed consistent with the adopted management

plan and purposes for acquisition. Specific comments were made relative to increasing

prescribed burn activities and exploring more opportunities for onsite restoration. Staff currently

manage the property within budget constraints, but is evaluating the potential transfer of

management responsibilities to another agency as part of the District’s Surplus Lands

Assessment efforts.

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